Javelin Back Yard DIY Helicopter

Schamm Javelin helicopter kit

Back Yard DIY Javelin Helicopter Kit

Its makers, both in their twenties hope to market their one-man DIY helicopter for under $10,000

B.J. SCHRAMM’S FIRST NAME is Buford but, understandably, he insists on “B.J.” He has some other definite ideas, mostly about DIY helicopters.

Rotorway Javelin helicopter

He first started thinking about them in high school and, before finishing college (he still hasn’t), he designed and built one. He moved so fast, in fact, he had his DIY helicopter built before he ever learned to fly one. Now everyone may be flying one.

transporting javelin one man helicopter

SCHRAMM HELICOPTER weighs 500 pounds empty and can easily be handled by one man. Engine is 100 hp and can power it to 100 mph up to a ceiling of about 12,000 feet.

Schramm’s Javelin is a one-man whirly – bird that may lead the long-awaited break – through in back-yard aircraft. He hopes to market it for less than $10,000, about half what the lowest-priced helicopter is selling for now.

Schramm had some help from another college dropout, Robert Everts, an excellent mechanic and designer. They did just about all the work on the bird themselves.

B J Schramm Robert Everts DIY Helicopter

LEFT: B. J. SCHRAMM (left) and Robert Everts, both in late twenties, designed and built the Javelin helicopter themselves.
RIGHT: LIGHTWEIGHT WHIRLYBIRD can be towed home behind a lightweight compact vehicle without any dismantling needed.

“We had three things in mind,” Schramm explains, “low cost, stability and easy maintenance DIY helicopter. We have about 30 percent fewer parts than a standard helicopter, and the design is so simple a shoe clerk could take it apart in an hour and a half.

Simple design one man helicopter

LEFT: DESIGN SIMPLICITY was one aim of Schramm helicopter, reducing cost with fewer initial parts and easier maintenance.
RIGHT: ONE-MAN COCKPIT has standard basic instruments and controls, including a cyclic – control stick and collective pitch throttle.

“Finally, we wanted the Javelin helicopter stable enough so the general public could fly it. We’ve designed it so that it wants to stay level, with an inherent tendency to return to the stable mode.”

Straight up, anyone?


COURTESY: Popular Mechanics – December 1966.

IMAGES: John Boykin


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2 Comments on "Javelin Back Yard DIY Helicopter"

  1. RBA,
    Somewhat funny that it’s labeled a ‘backyard diy’. Maybe a Millionaires backyard DIY.

    Either way, the post made me chuckle a bit. Thanks for starting my day off right.

    • Hi Jordan, I felt the same way when I first read the article, translate $10,000 then to $$$ today?? – it works out to $82,609.46 in 2017! But I guess the whole point was comparatively to commercial helicopters in the day – they had set out to make an “affordable” helicopter.

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